Semantic is word meaning. Words are also linked to other words through semantic
relationships. The figure below shows the various supported relations. NB: Not all the relations
will apply to Swahili.
➢ Synonym / Visawe - these are words that share the same meaning. For instance, in Swahili Mama translate to English as Mother, its synonym is Nina.
➢ Antonyms / Kinyume - a word opposite in meaning to another .i.e good and bad.
➢ Homophones / Vitate - a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning new and knew.
➢ Homonyms / Vitawe - Each of two words having the same spelling and pronunciation but different meanings. For instance, in Swahili, the word kaa has more than one meaning
1. Kuwa mahali kwa muda fulani.
2. Kipande cheusi cha kuni kilichochomwa na kuzimwa kabla ya kuwa majivu. Hutumika kupikia kwa jiko.
3. Mnyama mdogo wa majini mwenye miguu sita au zaida, na gamba mwilini.
➢ Hypernyms - A word whose meaning includes a group of other words for example the word animal is a hypernym of a cow, goat, lion
➢ Hyponyms - A word whose meaning is included in the meaning of another word. For instance, the word cow is a hyponym for an animal.
➢ Meronyms - A form that denotes part of something but is used to refer to the whole ie when face is used to refer to people.
There are many semantic relationships not touched but will be included in due time.